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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Online Videos: Amazing turner!!!!!!!

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I'm glad someone linked that Hall of Fame video. My friends and I love to watch that one it's one of our favorites. :D These "competition" schools train the girls from very young ages, there are very few schools that teach good technique along with all those tricks.(I know from experience). For anyone interested there are tons of worthwhile videos on the site though that are worth checking out including Nick Lazzarini and Craig Derosa from So You Think You Can Dance and here's a link to a pointe number by Quenby Hersh that's very good also.



(you just have to scroll down and click on it) :D

Edited by MADancer
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  • Mel Johnson


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  • LooseLegs2


I know you're all going to crucify me but...


I am saddened by that video of a 9 year-old doing that material.


And could someone please explain the phenomenon of the open crotch standing side split??


Also, please remember that this thread is on professional dancers & companies. Let's try to keep it on track.



Wet Blanket

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Littlesea--thank you for that link. All I can say....well I can't speak at the moment.


And Clara--no wet blanket from me. Talent or no talent, teachers can show the talent of 9 year olds without the content contained by the youngster at hand. And no comparision to the turning ability of the young one with the other two(no spotting, bent knees, ala2ndbesque) whose links we have gotten. Someone who knows correct technique should however, get a hold of this young girl she has something that should be nutured.


I am probably more a wet blanket than you even with a younger DD who does competitions and can do the multiple turns and leaps, but with a teacher who knows what 12 year olds should and should not do while dancing at that age.


*edited to add more after seeing the other links



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Victoria Leigh

The child is obviously talented, and has an amazing center in her turns. But, it's still all tricks and circus, and not any real dance evident anywhere in the piece. There is good jazz dance, and there are tricks. She only does tricks. The choreography was totally ridiculous, repetitive, unmusical, and just plain bad. That young dancer could probably look very good in jazz, if she had a choreographer who was a real dancer/teacher with a sense of what is appropriate for a 9 year old, and how to feature her strengths without creating several minutes of the same tricks over and over. She might as well be in the center ring of a circus. :green:

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Ms. Leigh basically said it...


I'll proudly rank among the wet blanket crowd...I tire of girls being trained as 'trick ponies' with little to no artistry emphasized. I can respect and appreciate the talent and hard work that it takes to do what they're doing, but something's missing.


And could someone please explain the phenomenon of the open crotch standing side split??


I'm with you there, clara - I find it to be hideous regardless of the age of the dancer executing it.

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My thought was: Where's the choreography? Two tricks made up the entire piece: spin turns (great balance!) and that 180-skating move thingy (pretty cool, but still only a trick in the context of this "dance"). Holding 180 extensions or flashing crotch shots just doesn't make it choreography----only tricks. Just confirms my opinion of competition dance studios.


And for a 9-year old? Why the bump and grind attempt? Has it really become so old-fashioned, prudish to know that crotch shots "are not a pretty sight" for "nice girls"? As much as I enjoy the music of "All That Jazz", it does give me pause to have a young girl "dancing" to a song touting a speakeasy with illegal gin and the seamier side of life.


Boy, put that kiddo in a studio that classically trains a dancer and she might very well be something to watch in a five or six years. Leave her where she is and she'll be doing back-up spins on MTV videos at best. By the time she figures it out, it'll be too late.


(Clara 76, I'll throw my blanket in with yours.)

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I'm no prude, but I thought most of the girls' costumes were highly inappropriate, never mind the moves they were making.

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I can't imagine asking a child to perform those kinds of movements to that kind of music. I know it happens more than I even want to know, but I never cease to be surprised by it.


It is likely that the flexibility and the spinning like a top come naturally to her. This bit of "choreography" seems to have merely assembled what she can do on her own (and not in a creative or interesting way), combined it with shimmies, and voila! A competition routine that passes up a valuable opportunity to enrich and develop a talented young child. I mean they could have at least told her to straighten her knees.


I wonder if this should really be considered "dance." It seems to fall more into the category of acrobatics to me. Not that there is anything wrong with acrobatics, but call it what it is. At least for me, dancing should at least attempt to convey something beyond what is going on at the surface. I don't expect a 9 year old to be an artist, but the things they do should, in a decent situation, be nudging them in that direction. When they're doing trick after trick (or in this case, the same 2 tricks over and over again), it looks more like a gymnastics meet.


This kind of evidence of the perils and pitfalls an uneducated parent can encounter makes me extremely grateful that my mother happened upon knowledgable teachers and friends who could guide us in the right direction. Kudos to this board for setting families on the right path. Aside from leading people in the right direction from the start, the board has also guided many into dinkle rehab before it's too late.


Placing my blanket on top of the pile....

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OK, now maybe I'll be crucified here...


Are classical ballet variations REALLY that much different? Most bravura variations are repetitive and comprised mostly of "tricks". Some people would see it as nothing but pretty girls with long legs wearing a ridiculously shaped skirt to show those legs. The men's variations are even worse. Remember the grandiose preparations they used to make before pirouette? I still hear whoops and hollers at ABT. In the middle of something as supposedly dark as Giselle!


I'm sure the rest of the Sugar Pas Ms.Sylve was performing isn't exactly Art which will Change the World. It's silly entertainment...


Of course, Sofiane Sylve is not 9 years old. And I know the difference in quality.


But even classical ballet isn't always "high art". In fact, it wasn't always considered as such... Wasn't it a much "lesser" form than, say, the opera?


Silly entertainment has it's place, too. That kid looks like she was having fun. I bet she was! When I was 14, I did some muscial theatre (Oklahoma and 42nd street). I was a can-can dancer and a streetwalker. OK, a little older than 9, but still very innocent. Musical theatre is full of that type of character.

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This thread has become a topic really more suited to our sister board, and it has been discussed at length there. I'll do a search for some topics and link them. It makes for some very interesting reading! :wink:

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Thanks Hans for reminding us all (me included) that we got off topic a bit. When you find that topic to link it to, please let us know but keep it on this board please for parents education.


lampwick--it's more the wording of the music, the suggestiveness of the movements and the poor technique that was applauded that is my concern. Not the bravura. You're right, there is bravura everywhere but with good technique which matters to me. Believe me there is good jazz technique out there, this just wasn't it. To me, it's about age appropriateness of the material (my 12 year old doesn't dance to suggestive music when competing jazz and is just now allowed to work on variations in ballet although she won't perform them for quite some time). Not that you were really disagreeing with me, however, just wanted to make clear, that to me this isn't about ballet and not ballet. It's about appropriateness for an age and good technique for an age.



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Is there something about jazz turns (turned in, such as the 9 year old video) that makes it easier to keep a center than a turned out turn?


Our teachers are always telling us our turn comes from the turn out, but when I did jazz and lyrical I could easily pull of 8 turns, turned in. Now I can barely manage a clean single or double.


At trick competitions, it is almost always the turned in turns. What makes the turn out so much more difficult, and why is it that teachers tell me the turn comes from the turn out, when clearly it is possible, if not easier to turn in? (This might need to go to a technique board, but it was sparked by the 9 year old video... WOW, what turns, but turned in.)



BTW- Thanks for posting the link to the Paquita variation by Quenby Hersch, I would have missed it if it was not otherwised linked to.

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Here's one that's somewhat relevant:


Art vs. Sport


I'll keep searching and posting more as I find them. :)


Editing to add:


Is Anything Vulgar (In Dancing) Today?


Creating a "Star"




Vulgarity and Decorum


Virtuosity vs. Pyrotechnics




Virtuosity and Grace


Are Petipa's Ballets Bad Bombast or Great Art?


When It's Either Prowess or Artistry


High and Low Culture


Culture vs. The People


Artistry vs. Technical Virtuosity


What Are the "High Arts"?


And last, not to blow my own horn, but:


Hypermobility in Ballet


I confess to maybe going a little crazy with this :blink: but I did say "at length." :wink: Unfortunately, it appears that some threads I remember got lost in the process of BT's mitosis, but those above ought to cover it. :)

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